COACH’S BITE PROPELS BULLDOGS TO VICTORY
A HALF- TIME dressing down from Bulldogs coach Tony Burke provided the necessary rocket for Thuringowa to overpower Curra Swans by 47 points on Saturday.
Beaten by arch rivals Hermit Park the previous weekend, Thuringowa were playing to rediscover the premiership mettle but first contact with their opposition did not go to plan. Curra went kick for kick with their fancied rivals and had booted three goals to Thuringowa’s two by first quarter’s end and the contest remained tight in the second as the Bulldogs nosed ahead by 20 points going into the main break.
“I had to put the word on the boys at half- time that they were just going through the motions and they didn’t look good,” Burke said.
“We expected the Swans to come out hard and that’s exactly what they did. They were first to the ball in the first half and we had a few things to talk about; we didn’t just want our forwards kicking more goals – we also needed our middle to run more and our backs needed to be tighter.”
The half- time motivator worked, with Thuringowa surging to a 57point buffer by the end of the third term after kicking six unanswered majors and restricting Curra to just one behind. Curra hit back to outscore the Bulldogs five goals to three in the final term but it was too little, too late, with Thuringowa winning 18.16 ( 124) to 12.5 ( 77). Only a superior points differential now separates the Bulldogs and Hermit Park, who have 12 wins and two losses each following the Tigers’ 26.15 ( 171) to 3.3 ( 21) win over the Townsville City Lions. NICK Riewoldt added to his AFL legend yesterday, producing a best- afield performance despite two dodgy calves.
The St Kilda captain kicked three goals and took a gamehigh 13 marks in tough conditions at the MCG as his team posted a scrappy 37- point win over Melbourne.
Adding to a good day for the Saints in miserable weather, Riewoldt’s key forward under- study Paddy McCartin took nine marks in easily his best senior game.
Three days after his twoyear contract extension was announced, Saints coach Alan Richardson admitted that the 12.11 ( 83) to 6.10 ( 46) win put the team slightly ahead of his expectations for this season.
Riewoldt was in doubt for last week because of a right calf muscle injury and he suffered a corked quarter.
He looks unlikely to fly across for next Sunday’s game against Port Adelaide.
“He’s amazing. He’s got a very strong mind. He’s a very determined person,” Richardson said.
“He’s had a long career where he’s had to fight through some adversity with his body.”
TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE: Curra’s Adam Walker grabs the ball from Bulldogs rivals but it wasn’t enough for the Swans to clinch the game at Tony Ireland Stadium on Saturday.